Warm sunny days, cool, crisp nights and a hint of autumn in the air. Who doesn’t love an Indian summer?
Good news, then that here in the magical New Forest we’ve got everything you need to help summer linger longer.
Image credit - Nick Lucas
We have more than 40 miles of ‘secret’ coastline including some beautiful beaches, such as Milford on Sea and Barton on Sea. The beach at Lepe Country Park looks over the Isle of Wight and is also perfect for a stroll or a paddle and it has a great, long-stay car park, too. Or why not grab a picnic and get along to the coastline at Calshot Beach, where you’ll enjoy uninterrupted views across the Solent? Whichever beach you choose, it should be much quieter at this time of year, following high summer.
Make the most of the warmth and fine weather and discover the true beauty of our stunning wildlife and nature during this time of year by spending a day or two exploring the New Forest on foot or by bike. Walking or cycling, we have more than 100 miles of off-road tracks, plus quiet byways, perfect if you haven’t ridden for ages, or want to practice your cycle skills again.
Image - New Forest Pony in Late Summer
No bike? No problem! The following companies will make sure you can hire the bike that’s right for you and some will even rent you adaptive bikes for those with disabilities, or a little trailer for your dog! Contact any of our brilliant bike hire companies for more information.
Indian Summers are the perfect time for long drinks on the terraces and in the gardens of our award-winning restaurants. Sip champagne on the terrace at Le Blaireau at Careys Manor Hotel, before revving up the holiday vibe with their French-inspired menu and authentic experience.
Image - Le Blaireau, Careys Manor Hotel
Or why not enjoy an evening tipple in the courtyard at The Pig in Brockenhurst, or a cheeky lunch at their sister hotel, Lime Wood, where you’ll also find some beautiful new accommodation, including their rustic Lake Cabin?
Another great Indian Summer tip is to skip lunch and instead go for a proper Afternoon Tea, served just as the sun’s rays start to cool for the evening. You’ll find a fabulous experience at the Montagu Arms Hotel in Beaulieu, which can either be enjoyed in their exquisite garden, or in the drawing room overlooking the garden.
For an afternoon tea with a theme, you’ll adore New Park Manor Hotel’s ‘Matilda’ themed afternoon tea – a great time to treasure for the whole family. The menu includes delightful and fun finger sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, lavender macarons, break-time bread and butter pudding and, of course, a big slice of Brucie chocolate cake!
Image - New Park Manor Hotel - Matilda Afternoon Tea
You’ll also find a sweet and savoury Afternoon Tea awaiting you at The Bell Inn, in Bramshaw, which can be taken on their sunny terrace, or inside, in one of the cosy easy spaces.
Indian summers are also a time to take stock and contemplate the season ahead so where better to do this than at one of the New Forest’s beautiful spas, where bliss comes as standard.
Balmer Lawn’s Saltus Spa provides a relaxing Unwinding Spa Day, or try out the Signature Spa at Chewton Glen for some 5* pampering as well as the chance to experience what is described as Europe’s largest hydrotherapy pool.
Image - Chewton Glen Hotel
All the above hotels (and we have plenty more which you can find on our website) are perfect for an Indian summer break. Or why not choose to camp beneath the stars, book a lodge at one of our highly-rated holiday parks, relax in a countryside cottage or tour the forest staying at some of our top-notch B&Bs? Not only will they serve you proper New Forest breakfasts, made with scrumptious local produce, but can usually give you a side order of helpful tips on the best secret spots to see and visit at any time of the year.
Image - Green Hill Farm Holiday Village
Remember, too, that our fabulous attractions are open and always a little quieter during the Indian summer. Make this the time of year you treat yourself to a wander round the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum at New Milton, or the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, or a trip round the magnificent gardens at Exbury and Furzey.
Image - Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway
There’s also lots of exciting adventure activities to take part in at this time of year, from watersports to tree-top trails. And make sure you stop by our cute pubs and quaint tearooms for a refreshment or two after all the fun, too.
However you choose to spend your days – and nights – you’ll leave in the knowledge that this year, you’ve really made the most of every good thing the New Forest has to offer during a beautiful Indian summer.